This year’s presidential election has been entertaining to say the least, but in these final weeks and months leading up the November the candidates’ issues of choice have finally become clear. What surprising to me is the one that’s missing: nutrition.
Poor nutrition is the number one cause of poor health in the U.S. And ironically, while the debate on Nationalized healthcare rages, the #1 strain on our healthcare system (diet-related diseases, such as obesity, heart disease, and many cancers) remains largely ignored. Not that the economy, the environment, healthcare and education are not important, but with 12.7 million (17%) of our children (aged 2-19) and 78.6 million (35%) of American adults being obese, it’s pretty clear that nutrition – and how to solve our obesity problem – should be at the forefront of this year’s presidential debates.
Especially when you compare our numbers internationally. The United States has the highest number of overweight and obese people in the world. In the U.S., 71% of men and 62% of women are overweight or obese, compared to 38% of men and 37% of women worldwide. And our children don’t fair any better — 29% of boys and 30% of girls are overweight or obese in the U.S., compared to 14% of boys and 15% of girls worldwide. And the numbers are even worse among America’s minorities and among those at the lower end of the economic spectrum.
Knowing that the risk of adult obesity is at least twice as high for obese children as for non-obese children, it’s clear the that a big part of the solution to our obesity problem lies in educating parents both on pediatric nutrition and Flavor Intelligence and providing our children with better access to foods with a higher nutritional value and proper flavor learning qualities.